Métis youth from across the province were immersed, digitally, in their culture learning beading, finger-weaving and even taking a virtual nature walk as part of the Métis Nation of Ontario’s (MNO) annual March Break Culture Camp on April 12-14, 2021.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, for the second year, the camp has moved online.
Participants of the camp, Métis high school students between Grades 10-12, spent the three days learning about their Métis culture and post-secondary education and programs offered by the MNO to help them in their post-secondary journey.
“This was great!” said Andrew (Maurice), a participant in the camp. “I liked learning about post-secondary school. Even if I don’t have an idea of where I’m going quite yet I have an idea of resources the MNO offers that I can go to if I need help.”
On day one of the three-day event the participants has a meet and greet with MNO President Margaret Froh.
“These camps are one of the most important ways we try to help our young citizens learn and experience their culture,” said President Froh.
“One of our main goals has always been to help Métis youth to succeed and the Infinite Reach March Break camp is the perfect avenue for that.”
The camp was also attended by facilitators from the MNO’s Infinite Reach program, current upper year post-secondary students, who introduce the high school students to what post-secondary is all about. The Infinite Reach Network is designed to ease the transition of Métis high school students to post-secondary by creating a community where Métis students can share experiences and support one another in their academic pursuits.
On day two the students got a bit of culture – learning about traditional Métis beading, winter survival skills, and finger weaving. And, on the academic side, they received instruction in resume and cover letter writing.
On the final day MNO staff walked the participants through the different programs and services offered by the MNO and its various branches.
They also learned how to make bannock and syrup, as well as facts about fur trapping and its importance to Metis culture. The March Break Camp finished strong with a virtual nature walk through the Canadian Ecology Centre and traditional Métis games.
It has become tradition at the March Break camps to present the students with their very own sashes. The tradition continued online as a Métis sash was included in the package of materials they received in the mail prior to the Camp.
There are several culture camps hosted by the MNO throughout the year, visit metisnation.org for more information on when the next one will be held.
For those interested in becoming facilitators for these camps click here.